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Does this teacher just not get it, or is this typical?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My dd is in a Montessori primary room.

For valentine's day, the teacher gave all the kids a little treat. Nice right? Not stickers or anything, but candy. Ok, I can deal. Many people give candy on Valentines day.

She gave my dairy allergic child (and the teacher is well aware of the allergy) Hershey Kisses.

WTH was she thinking? She knows my dd is allergic. My dd cannot have it, cannot even touch it. Are all teachers like this? Wouldn't it have made sense to give her something she is NOT allergic to? It makes me wonder if the teacher has any respect for my dd's allergies. If she is giving her dairy for valentines, should I assume that she is haphazard in the classroom about making sure dd does not come into contact with the snacks and lunches the other kids are having?
post #2 of 20
Is it possible that the teacher didn't realize that "allergic to dairy" doesn't just mean allergic to milk? I know that when I say something about Maya not being able to have dairy, people assume that she can still have cheese, yogurt, chocolate, etc. Just not milk itself. Maybe you can talk to the teacher about it and find out why she thought it was ok ~ and if she is being haphazard about it maybe this will remind her that it is a big deal.
post #3 of 20
Both. I think she doesn't get it, and that's pretty typical unfortunately. People are just so very removed anymore from their food they just really don't realize what is in things. And unless they are explicitely thinking about it in the context of a particular child's allergies things get missed.

My DD's preschool teachers did the same thing. They handed out a bag to each child with stickers, pencils, and a bit of candy which my DD can't eat. I wasn't really bothered by it since DD was too young to understand and her issues are intolerances, not allergies, so it isn't a life threatening thing. But I would be much more concerned about it in a severe allergy kind of situation.

As far as how is she treating things in the classroom - not sure how things are handled in your child's preschool, but at DD's school I have highlighted on the menu the things she is allowed to eat (which is basically only the fruit) and they don't give her anything else unless I provide it or they have asked me in advance (like if they are doing a special project that involves food). That way the teacher doesn't have to have a PhD in food allergies like we parents pretty much do. I used to think it wasn't that hard and let other people make judgement calls on food but anymore I realize how much time and effort I have put in to getting educated and you just can't expect someone else to get it right.

Hugs, Mama. Sorry for the frustration.

Edited to add: Just curious - did the teacher give your child the candy so that your DD could have or did eat it right there? I was assuming it was a situation like ours where the bags were given to the children at pick up time so parent's could have control over what was eaten. If the teacher released control of the candy to your child at school without your consent I would be much more concerned. And either way I hope you took the opportunity to bring the teacher's attention to the situation so that she can learn to be more careful.
post #4 of 20
That happen to me yesterday but with wheat. DD3`s teacher would have done the same if I hadn't ask what was for snack. I asked what was for snack and she said "bagels". I said that she can't have any and it took a few moments for the teacher to clue in that there is wheat in bagels.

I find that ppl that aren't dealing with allergies just don't get what's behind more precessed food.
post #5 of 20
( Sorry, I swear I'm not stalking you, I just keep clicking on things off the front page and they end up being by you.)

I think this is just more proof that the teacher is too lazy to do her job properly. The package of hershey's kisses say "MILK chocolate" right on them, no need to have any special knowledge to know that's dairy.


And you already know she's haphazard about letting your dd come in contact with stuff the other kids are having since she's told you she refuses to wipe the tables with cleanser more than once a day.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
( Sorry, I swear I'm not stalking you, I just keep clicking on things off the front page and they end up being by you.)

I think this is just more proof that the teacher is too lazy to do her job properly. The package of hershey's kisses say "MILK chocolate" right on them, no need to have any special knowledge to know that's dairy.


And you already know she's haphazard about letting your dd come in contact with stuff the other kids are having since she's told you she refuses to wipe the tables with cleanser more than once a day.
Oh, I appreciate your input, you can stalk me anytime

Just to make sure it is clear, the issue about wiping the tables and cleanliness is a wraparound issue, so it is a different teacher.

This was about the primary room teacher.

You are right, it does say on the bags that it is milk chocolate. I guess that is why this bothers me so much. At least she didn't give them reese's cups. I would have totally flipped.

I am thinking, that she wasn't paying attention and just gave them to all the kids. I found them in her mail folder, so it was not given directly to her. Thank goodness! She doesn't even know she got them. But if the teacher didn't pay attention to this, what else is she not paying attention to. Would it really have been so hard to give dd some stickers or something instead? Or heck, just skipped her and not given her anything. dd would have never known either way since they were in the mail folders. We don't require people to go out of their way for us. Unfortunately, dd is way more used to being excluded than I would like. I have seen her look at other people's cookies with lust. She does seem ok with our explanations, and the alternatives we offer, but I know that sometimes she wants those cookies (or whatever else it is). I think it helps her that I have the same restrictions (since we are still nursing).
post #7 of 20
I know your frustration mama. My dd's dairy allergy is like your dd's, severe and is aggravated simply by contact. My fil is always asking dh what kind of ice cream dd can have And it isn't he means some kind of "ice cream" he means what flavor of ice cream should he get for her from the local farm dairy store Yes, I think some people don't get it. He gets utterly confused when we ask him to wash his hands after he eats dairy...utterly confused Good luck and hugs!

Beth
post #8 of 20
My DD's pre-school did not allow the kids to give out valentines. This pre-dates my food allergic DD. They did have a cafe on Friday where the kids had made snacks and served to their family. Very Cute. The teacher made sure the snacks were safe for my DD. And the director scheduled her class to be first in the cafe so that any class with possible allergens was after hers.

I can tell you that no one in that school would hand my DD something with her allergens. They hand me labels to read on shaving cream for activities, paints, soaps, pastes... They constantly clean up after the kids. The kids wash their hands upon arrival at school and again after snack.

Trust your intuition, as you would hate to second guess it and have your DD suffer.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therese's Mommy View Post
I know your frustration mama. My dd's dairy allergy is like your dd's, severe and is aggravated simply by contact. My fil is always asking dh what kind of ice cream dd can have And it isn't he means some kind of "ice cream" he means what flavor of ice cream should he get for her from the local farm dairy store Yes, I think some people don't get it. He gets utterly confused when we ask him to wash his hands after he eats dairy...utterly confused Good luck and hugs!

Beth
If it wasn't so sad, that would be hilarious!

While I don't think my dd would *die* from a contact exposure, she certainly would have hives and possibly swelling from contact. But if she ingested enough dairy, she would vomit and probably have hives. For her, once the vomit occurs the hives disappear and the allergic reaction has been over. This has only occurred before we knew she was allergic to dairy (maybe twice), she had not been diagnosed. This also occurred with her first exposure to peanuts and almonds (at the same time - in a granola bar), expect she had lip and facial swelling instead of hives. We of course know now that should she have both vomiting and skin reaction, she should be given the epi-pen.

On the one occurrence at her old day care center, she had maybe a bite of cheese covered broccoli before they noticed and removed it. She had absolutely no reaction, not even hives. But if she touches dairy or is kissed by someone who had dairy, she will get hives at the location (sometimes just 1 hive).
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lnitti View Post
Just to make sure it is clear, the issue about wiping the tables and cleanliness is a wraparound issue, so it is a different teacher.

This was about the primary room teacher.
So no one in this place can handle your child's food allergy safely?

It's like banging your head against a brick wall.

: that you can get the director/principal to do something.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbbinsc View Post
My DD's pre-school did not allow the kids to give out valentines. This pre-dates my food allergic DD. They did have a cafe on Friday where the kids had made snacks and served to their family. Very Cute. The teacher made sure the snacks were safe for my DD. And the director scheduled her class to be first in the cafe so that any class with possible allergens was after hers.

I can tell you that no one in that school would hand my DD something with her allergens. They hand me labels to read on shaving cream for activities, paints, soaps, pastes... They constantly clean up after the kids. The kids wash their hands upon arrival at school and again after snack.

Trust your intuition, as you would hate to second guess it and have your DD suffer.
I love your school on two levels. First, that they're so very aware of your dd's safety, second that they've arranged things so that other kids can have allergens without risking your dd. Much better than blanket "thou shalt not have XYZ even though our cafeteria serves it" rules.
post #12 of 20
I have a food allergic child - my oldest (7 years old) is allergic to peanuts. If the teacher is giving out a treat that is not being consumed at school, I have no expectation at all that my child's treat will be allergen free. My daughter is given treats (for birthdays, holidays, etc.) that are to be taken home to enjoy all the time. Sometimes they have peanuts in them, sometimes they don't. She has been instructed to never consume a treat without checking the ingredients or asking an adult to do so, and knows that peanuts can "hide" in a lot of things so she frequently asks to see the ingredient list. Her teachers have always had much stricter rules for food consumed in the classroom. If you have concerns, I'd bring them to the teacher's attention and request that NO treats be sent home, but I would not jump to the conclusion that the teacher's not paying attention when it comes to foods being consumed in the classroom until you discuss it with her. How old is your daughter? Is she old enough to know that chocolate is 100% off limits unless mom gives the OK?
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3*is*magic View Post
I have a food allergic child - my oldest (7 years old) is allergic to peanuts. If the teacher is giving out a treat that is not being consumed at school, I have no expectation at all that my child's treat will be allergen free. My daughter is given treats (for birthdays, holidays, etc.) that are to be taken home to enjoy all the time. Sometimes they have peanuts in them, sometimes they don't. She has been instructed to never consume a treat without checking the ingredients or asking an adult to do so, and knows that peanuts can "hide" in a lot of things so she frequently asks to see the ingredient list. Her teachers have always had much stricter rules for food consumed in the classroom. If you have concerns, I'd bring them to the teacher's attention and request that NO treats be sent home, but I would not jump to the conclusion that the teacher's not paying attention when it comes to foods being consumed in the classroom until you discuss it with her. How old is your daughter? Is she old enough to know that chocolate is 100% off limits unless mom gives the OK?

She is 2. The class is a primary class generally ages 3-5. As young as she is, I honestly think she would not eat something without asking an adult first. But that adult may not be me if she is at school, it would be a teacher.
But if an adult gives it to her, she may think that means it is ok. That of course is not the situation this time since it was in her folder, and not handed to her. However, there is always that chance she may get curious and touch it, poke it, taste it, maybe wonder what we mean when she says she is allergic to it. I saw that in her when she was lusting after the cookie.

She knows she cannot have milk, cheese, ice cream, etc. But she may not understand why she can have 1 pretzel, but not another, 1 cookie, but not another.

She does ask me all the time - does XYZ have soy/dairy in it? But I don't know that she would always ask in a situation when I am not around. Nor do I know if she would be given the correct answer.

I do totally get the idea that since it was not intended to be consumed in school, the teacher may have just felt it easier to just give everyone the same thing.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lnitti View Post
She is 2. The class is a primary class generally ages 3-5. As young as she is, I honestly think she would not eat something without asking an adult first. But that adult may not be me if she is at school, it would be a teacher.
But if an adult gives it to her, she may think that means it is ok. That of course is not the situation this time since it was in her folder, and not handed to her. However, there is always that chance she may get curious and touch it, poke it, taste it, maybe wonder what we mean when she says she is allergic to it. I saw that in her when she was lusting after the cookie.

She knows she cannot have milk, cheese, ice cream, etc. But she may not understand why she can have 1 pretzel, but not another, 1 cookie, but not another.

She does ask me all the time - does XYZ have soy/dairy in it? But I don't know that she would always ask in a situation when I am not around. Nor do I know if she would be given the correct answer.

I do totally get the idea that since it was not intended to be consumed in school, the teacher may have just felt it easier to just give everyone the same thing.
I didn't realize that she is only 2 years old. In that case I'd talk to the teacher for sure. She may be completely unaware that Hershey's Kisses have milk in them. My DD started out as allergic to milk, soy, eggs and peanuts (she outgrew everything but the peanuts) and it didn't occur to me the even something as obvious as MILK CHOCOLATE might have dairy in it - it simply wasn't on my radar until she was diagnosed. If the teacher has never had a milk allergic child in her classroom, she just might need a little extra educating.

Are you 100% sure the treat was from her? Often my kids come home with treats from other kids in the class, and the teacher merely distributes them. Sometimes the treats don't say who they're from and I usually have to get that info from my kids ("Oh yeah, it was Rebecca's birthday today!"). I'd talk to her regardless, but she obviously has less control over what other parents send in and might not have wanted your DD to feel excluded.

Allergies are so hard and scary .
post #15 of 20
I'm sorry, my dd is dairy intolerant. If she consumes dairy she breaks out, gets diahrea/stomach aches, etc..

We've been blessed to find a home daycare that the provider has an allergic child as well so I can always be assured that she knows what it safe/what's not safe.

We're choosing to send her to half-day preschool next year so that she will be going ot her normal daycare afterwards just because I'm concerned about the food-issue (and I really love our daycare).

Have you considered providing the teacher with a bag of safe snacks so that if snacks are given out she can just give your child one of the treats you have provided? I know that doesn't help with whether or not she is aware, but hopefully it would at least prevent your child from getting snacks she shouldn't have.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyterae View Post
I'm sorry, my dd is dairy intolerant. If she consumes dairy she breaks out, gets diahrea/stomach aches, etc..

We've been blessed to find a home daycare that the provider has an allergic child as well so I can always be assured that she knows what it safe/what's not safe.

We're choosing to send her to half-day preschool next year so that she will be going ot her normal daycare afterwards just because I'm concerned about the food-issue (and I really love our daycare).

Have you considered providing the teacher with a bag of safe snacks so that if snacks are given out she can just give your child one of the treats you have provided? I know that doesn't help with whether or not she is aware, but hopefully it would at least prevent your child from getting snacks she shouldn't have.


Actually we do this. We provide all food. The only things they can give her are fruits and veges and only if they are plain. They are not allowed to give her mango.
post #17 of 20

Some teachers just aren't that smart

I am a teacher myself, and I don't profess to be brilliant about everything, but I do have a basic respect for other people. I have worked with other teachers who are really ignorant. One brought a chocolate cake to her daughter's day care for her one year old birthday and gave it to all the infants in the room. The daycare workers didn't know how to stop her, and afterward one actually got fired over the ordeal. I don't think people mean to do harm purposefully, but they just aren't accustomed to thinking about that kind of thing. Hopefully if you talk with her about it she will be more careful in the future. It might just be a steep learning curve for her.
post #18 of 20

i HOPE THE STUPID TEACHER DEVELOPS A MILK ALLERGY

And other food allergies & becomes hospitalized a few times due to trace exposures.

She's stupid. Period. And, so are a lot of people.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
As for the valentine treats, it was in a bag and said Love, Mrs. X. I guess for now I will give her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she just didn't realize, or just didn't want to do something different for my dd, or something like that.

The rest of this is what I posted on my other threads about our wraparound situation since that got brought into this thread a bit too.

ok, I am feeling a little better about everything. I will post this same response to the other threads about this situation too.

I spoke with the director.

She says that my dd2 eats at a table separate from the rest of the kids and that the table she uses is never used for eating for any other child. Also, she says the snack table is not used for any of the toys/activities.

As far as cleaning the hands and faces, she says that she will speak with them about it, but in general it shouldn't happen. dd2 is a messy eater, but she said her face should be getting cleaned. The older (kindy) students do normally do their own and typically wouldn't be happy if a teacher tried to do it for them. And they normally do a good job cleaning themselves up. My dd1 who is in Kindy at the public school did not go to Montessori. She is a different story. She is not good about it as the Montessori students are. The director told me I should work with her more at home so that she will clean her own face (and well). I think she will also have the staff check to be sure too.

And related to the issue about time outs. She initially stated that they do not do time outs. I told her this was not true. My kids and other kids (I spoke with another mom) play act this at home. The kids tell me about the time outs. The teachers tell me they use time outs. I really think this is a case of the director not realizing what the teachers were doing. I will follow up with her again on this to see if she is planning to address this with the teachers or what. But it is not apparently what is supposed to be happening. She said that it is true that if a child does not clean up their toys, they may not play with/get other toys out. They have a choice to sit and not play or clean up what they were playing with, but it is not a time out.

I am still concerned about the cetaphil cream (contains almond oil) in her classroom though. I asked about moving dd to a different room, and was told they can't (won't?) do that. It is policy not to change rooms, and they have other kids with allergies too (or something along those lines). The child who uses the cetaphil cream for her eczema has the eczema on her face. My concern is that dd2 may come into contact with the cream, either directly or more likely indirectly.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SARA777 View Post
And other food allergies & becomes hospitalized a few times due to trace exposures.

She's stupid. Period. And, so are a lot of people.
I think that's a little harsh. Honestly, the teacher probably had no idea. I can't eat wheat, and now my infant son has a dairy allergy. I can't tell you how many people we know that just don't have any idea about what's in their food. I have a friend who had us over for dinner and told me that the meatballs she made were wheat-free. After I had eaten a couple, someone asked her for the recipe. She said, "Ground turkey, Bisquick . . . " I got very upset (needless to say) but she just didn't know that there was wheat in Bisquick. We've had similar situations now that I am EBF and I can't have dairy either. It's so hard, but sometimes I just won't eat anything unless I prepare it.

I used to be a teacher before my son was born. It's a VERY difficult job; it doesn't pay well, you get little respect from students and even less from some parents. Most of my (former) colleagues went into this field because they love kids and believe in education. If in all other aspects you are happy with this teacher, I would let it slide. I know you are worried about your daughter, but maybe a conversation with the teacher would help. Perhaps you could print out a list of all the "hidden" dairy ingredients in processed foods and give it to her. It may help her realize that dairy is in EVERYTHING and it may help impress upon her the importance of being very cautious about what your DD eats or handles.

So sorry this happened to you. Food allergies are so hard.
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